It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
Tell him if he really wants to be nice he’ll save you both the drama and just MOA (move out already). Prolonged breakups aren’t fun for anyone. And, obviously, if the guy had an engagement ring for over a year and still didn’t propose, he is doing the right thing by letting you go since your relationship is going nowhere.
If you’re making huge life decisions that will affect not just you but your young son with the intention of proving something to your parents, you’re doing it wrong. Something tells me you need your parents’ help and support more than you’d like to admit and until you’re ready to make decisions for yourself, regardless what your parents’ reaction will be, I’d stay put and let your parents continue supporting you.
It’s possible that I would suck it up and accept the kind invitation in the interest of family unity, but the trip isn’t really something I would enjoy under the best of circumstances. I could realistically get the time off work, but I would prefer to save my time off for something I actually want to do (or need to do, such as genuine family obligations).
I mostly want to know how to say no without making things worse, but if you think I ought to go on the trip, my ears are open. — Strings attached?
One of the best lessons I’ve learned in the last few years is that less is more, and that is especially true when saying no. The less you say about your reason for saying no, the better. I’ve found that for most invitations I can’t or don’t want to take, this is enough: “Thank you so much for your invitation. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it this time, but I do appreciate you thinking of me.” If the person asks why, you can always think of an excuse then — “I already made other plans,” “I can’t get the time off work,” “I really hate you,” but there’s no reason to stress out about it.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.